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Front 3 Welcome to Bike 6 View: Pass of Llanberis 8 Mudbath MX 10 Let there be light 13 Dunlop Qualifier 2 14 The Great Escape Regulars 16 Experience: Mark Wilsmore 32 Letters 35 Rupert Paul 36 Mat Oxley 38 Eyewitness: Mad Max Road Tests 18 Aprilia RSV4 26 Ducati Streetfighter S 44 KTM 990 SM R 116 Triumph Bonneville 123 The big test: Adventure bikes

Features 51 Great Britain 58 Guintoli at Cadwell Park 62 Best long weekend in Britain 80 Honda GoldWing in London 96 Legends: Yamaha YZR500 104 Four wheeled bike... that leans 106 Yamaha V-Max invades Wales 160 Team Bike rides again Bike Shop 152 Showcase: waterproof summer gloves 158 Next big thing: Power Commander V 168 Best of Bike 170 Classic Ogri

Subscribe Save money by subscribing and get a free 24-piece Teng socket set as well. Why wouldn’t you? See p114

The RSV4 is arguably the most important motorcycle ever produced by Aprilia, the little Italian factory that has always punched above its weight

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rsv4 factory

FiRst Ride


One of the most important new bikes of 2009, Aprilia’s RSV4 is no crossplane crank pretender – it’s the real V4 deal words maT oxley PHoToGraPHy milaGro

Oxley has been testing bikes since the early 1980s and has been a fan of V4s ever since racing a Honda RC30 in endurance events. He’s glad Aprilia have picked up the V4 baton and wonders why Honda wouldn’t make a V4 Fireblade

This year the talk is all about an inline four that’s been made to work like a V4. Well, here’s a V4 that works like a V4. Aprilia’s new RSV4 is a 21st century RC30: dense, compact, purposeful; a mega-fast and friendly engine; and a neutral chassis. And it’s a World Superbikes homologation special, just like Honda’s seminal V4 superbike. The bike is Aprilia’s third one-litre speed machine, after the RSV Mille V-twin, well respected by all who rode it; and the RS3 Cube MotoGP bike, much feared by all who wrestled with it, from Laconi to Edwards to Haga. The RSV4 is arguably the most important motorcycle ever produced by Aprilia, the little Italian factory that has always punched above its weight – 33 250GP and 125GP world titles from a name not many people had heard just two decades ago. Fittingly, Aprilia launched the RSV4 at Misano where the factory won its first GP in 1987.

misano is probably most famous for ending the career of wayne rainey. The three-time 500 world champion was fighting Kevin schwantz for a straight fourth world title in 1993 when he crashed at the first turn and broke his back. GP racing vowed it would never return to the venue, though world superbike became a regular visitor. Then the circuit owners had the bright Misano idea of reversing track direction from anticlockwise to clockwise; somehow that made everything okay and GP racing returned in 2007. The change of direction ruined what little character the track had. misano’s crowning glory had been a series of three high-speed lefthanders, each taken at higher speed, the last of the threesome propelling riders onto the back straight at 150-ish. Those three corners are now taken at decreasing speeds, so what used to be awesomely fun rear-end turns are now finicky front-enders, which pretty much sums up the character of misano’s mickey mouse layout. like Foggy used to say, ‘i hate this place.’ Not the best track to launch a 180bhp superbike.

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It has a more sportsbike feel than the hard-hitting surge I’d run through my mind when hacking around on the Monster. Rather than the extreme low-down grunt of a street warrior there’s the highperformance power of a racer 26 Bike



streetfighter s

> Ascari race resort

Can stripping the plastics off a Ducati 1098 create the biking equivalent of a Friday night punch-up outside a kebab shop? words tony hoare PhotoGraPhy MILaGro

Tony Hoare, 35, is a fairing hater. A former owner of two Fazer 1000s, Suzuki Bandit 1250 and GSX1400 and always first in the queue for anything offering neckache. He’s recently tested the new Ducati Monster 1100 and ridiculous Monster S4RS

This road test was written before starting the engine for the first time, or even before flying out of Britain for the launch. At least it was in my mind. I had the Ducati Streetfighter nailed down on the roads of Leicestershire while riding a Monster 1100S in the days before heading to Spain for our first go on the new 1098powered naked. Throw better quality suspension, sharper geometry and a motor with testicle-popping acceleration at this and we’ll have the Streetfighter. My left hand was already limbering up to hover over the clutch lever to tame the thing. Perhaps I should have known better. All the introductory speeches kept things rolling towards the expected mentalist. Power at 155bhp and a hefty torque output of 85lb.ft. Ducati’s dyno graphs showed the engine – a 1098 top-end bolted to 1198 crankcases – making peak power and torque at the same point, 9500rpm, which is unusual. It just had to be extreme, what with the S model, which we’re testing, having traction control in place to stop us throwing ourselves skywards on corner exits. We’re testing the S because most UK buyers will choose it over the standard model. But the clue was in that number. 9500rpm. Peak torque and power are both relatively high in the rev range, which gives a more sportsbike feel than the hard-hitting surge I’d run through my mind when hacking around on the Monster. Rather than the extreme low-down grunt of a street warrior there’s the highascari doesn’t go by the name of a racetrack, instead being billed as a race resort. It’s a private racetrack and is more of a paradise for millionaire motorsport enthusiasts, with a luxury hotel and ultra-posh restaurant on site, a pool and chillout area, plus a beauty salon, health spa, driving range and a clay pigeon shooting range. the circuit itself is more than three miles long, with a series of corners that at first leaves riders wondering if they’ll ever get a grip on where they’re supposed to be going. the highlights are three banked left-handers, a rarity on modern circuits, and a couple of chicanes where hard-braking approaches liven things up. It’s more of a car circuit than a bike circuit, with concrete walls lining the banking, but it’s a great place to ride a bike for those who get a chance. Being a private racetrack, those opportunities are rare. ducati and KtM have launched bikes at ascari, but otherwise it’s solely for the use of members. the joining fee is more than £150,000 and the annual fee to get access to the 50 trackdays for members is £6000 plus. to see a lap on youtube, type in ‘Mcwilliams KtM ascari’ for an onboard where you can see former Bike columnist Jeremy Mcwilliams hack through the assembled journos on the KtM rC8 launch in 2008.

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#01 Britain’s steepest road Best of Britain


Less than four miles long and only single-track width, but Rosedale Chimney Bank is one monumental band of challenging, memorable blacktop words MIKE ArMITAGE PHoToGrAPHY CHIPPY wood

Hills are insignificant on a bike. The most memorable roads and inspiring race circuits would be little without elevation changes, and the backdrop to our two-wheeled shenanigans would be distressingly inconspicuous if the horizon was ocean flat and unreachable in every direction. But with such instantly accessible drive and, more importantly, devastating power-to-weight ratios, modern motorcycles barely even register inclines that leave paperboys slumped breathless over crossbars. This fact is brought into strark contrast heading east on the undulating, pitching A170 from Thirsk. Teasing through Sutton-under-Whitestonecliffe, the low cloud and mist that dampened leathers for 140-miles of A1 drudgery disperses at the perfect time to reveal the abrupt, jutting, towering rock face influencing the names of the local settlements. Sutton Bank doesn’t so much present a slope as burst vertically from the greenery, an abrupt and imposing boundary to the North Yorkshire Moors that requires warning signs for its zig-zagging 1-in-4 (25%) climb. Caravans are prohibited and, last year, the short section was blocked by defeated HGVs no less than 132 times. But on a bike it’s just an entertaining addition to the route – KTM’s vivacious new SM T is no more stressed than it was cosseting my rear with its perfectly contoured seat and giving a commanding view over kerb-to-kerb silver Audis while thrumming up the A1. Onward to Kirkby Mills, left towards Castleton, turn right in the unbelievably quaint village of Hutton-le-Hole with its sheepdotted greens and cut left towards Rosedale Abbey. The landscape transforms rapidly from flowing, tended farmland into coarse moor, open expanses of rich texture stretching away over hidden valleys towards the coast and Scarborough’s donkey rides. For the first three miles this could be any of the countless narrow lanes dissecting the environment, flitting leisurely across the higher ground. Until a large red sign slides into view, advising I have reached a ‘dangerous hill’ and should engage a low gear. Cyclists

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must dismount – I assume it means those with pedals and cableoperated rubber brake blocks, rather than pokey V-twins and Brembo radial calipers. Chimney Bank starts sedately enough, a gentle descent past some ruined ironwork kilns towards the top of the hill. Then it plummets. It’s 1-in-3 at its steepest, or 33% – an acute plunge into the valley, more severe than the Hardknott Pass in the Lake District (30%) and little more than single track wide, dropping sharply into a pair of first gear, crazily cambered hairpins. Ascending is even more ridiculous, neck cranked to peer back and steeply upward while negotiating the second hairpin. The section directly after this turn is perhaps the steepest part. At 33%, it might not sound much (it’s only a third of the way to vertical, after all), but this is a serious gradient: shortcutting vans wheeze in first gear, bellowing soot; the scent of overworked brakes fills the air as sight-seeing retired couples descend in their grocery-getters; and turning the lightweight, balanced KTM round in the road raises genuine concerns about toppling over. Heading up the hill and swinging round to come back down, I have to lean the wrong way while doing a U-turn so as not to topple into the valley. Cadwell’s infamous Mountain is a speed hump in comparison. At least I haven’t got to walk it – snapper Chippy reckons it makes his knees hurt on the way down to find a photo point, then leaks from his forehead on the way back up... No such complaints from the SM T. Instant response, big twin shunt and snappy gearing mean the 990 laughs at Chimney Bank, playfully picking up its nose out of the steep bits and happily hauling second gear round the sub-20mph hairpins – a passing Yamaha FZ6 needs first and some clutch slip. Rapid steering, agility and supple suspension are welcome too, and I can’t imagine there’d be such a daft smile on my chops from piloting our Kawasaki ZX-6R or Yamaha R1. Too serious. It feels like the KTM’s natural habitat and I could happily lose a day ferreting through this nadgery network of roads.

Bike garage 2009 Model KTM 990 SM T Price £9595 Engine 999cc, dohc,north 75˚ V-twin Glencoe, looking with the Three(est) Sisters – shoulders of the Power 115bhp (claimed) Top speed 140mph Bidean nam Bian massif – on Average mpg 39 Accessories Optional side bags (£292) Miles this month 458 Mileage total 1363 the right. It may not be the best view in Britain, but Who it’s certainly in the top one

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#06 cadwell park best of britain

Think British circuits, think whooshing through the woods at Cadwell Park. Bike recruited MotoGP hero turned BSB star Sylvain Guintoli to ride it for the first time. Cue a big dose of culture shock WORDS TONY HOARE PHOTOGRAPHY CHIPPY WOOD

got too heavy and he slipped off. And here he is, signing on for The bloke in a white beanie hat and baggy jeans casts his eye the trackday, listening to the safety briefing and collecting the over the yellow Lamborghini and studies the personalised orange bib he’s given to mark him out from the other riders. His reg plate, N50 BSB. ‘You’re fucking real time you, accent, a mixture of French and Midlands, gives away the fact aren’t ya?’ he squawks in a Yorkshire accent he’s spent the last five years living near Mallory Park with his towards the lithe figure stooped in the English wife and their two children. He speaks pretty good Gallardo’s glow, fastening his boots. English considering the circumstances. ‘Your flash car and your flash Today will be Guintoli’s first time around here on a bike, bike. How are ya?’ Welcome though he has driven a car around before. Boastie’s few tips to Cadwell Park, Sylvain before his first session centre around Chris Curve and the Guintoli. New Suzuki British Gooseneck, a tricky section where a fast, banked right tortures Superbike signing and itself into a downhill left that regularly catches out newcomers. former MotoGP man meets Guintoli heads out to join the trackday fray. This is about Yorkie terrier with serious, warming up before he gets the track to himself at lunchtime. evident envy and respect... of sorts. It’s one of those sticky days at Cadwell, the arrival of warm It’s an enlightening clash of cultures as sunshine tempting a handful of riders to hit the ‘giddy’ button the man who was racing the likes of Rossi and and chuck their bikes away. Our man rolls into the holding area Stoner last year contemplates sharing a track with the to await the session’s resumption and to give Boastie his first Great British motorcycling public for his first laps of impression. ‘It’s a funny track. It looks so small, very narrow. And Cadwell. He’s here to get to grips with a stretch of tarmac so this bike is so fast, than BAM, the next corner is in your face. This quintessentially British that an experienced international racer place is going to take some getting used to.’ like Guintoli won’t know what’s hit him. We And, yes, that was former MotoGP rider Sylvain want to see the look on his face when he comes ‘It’s a funny track. Guintoli getting excited about the speed of a in after his first session. We’ve also booked some It looks so small, standard GSX-R1000 road bike. A man who’s exclusive track time and brought our Suzuki very narrow. And raced the fastest thing on wheels, a Ducati GSX-R1000 from the 2009 Bike Garage for him this bike is so fast Desmosedici. Around Cadwell, the track narrows to ride. It’s fresh from its first service, with 500 then, BAM, the next the field of vision. But one of the revelations of miles on the clock, standard suspension settings corner is in your face’ the day is the surprise Guintoli expresses at the and Bridgestone BT-015 road tyres. speed of road bikes. After passing his test a few years ago he hasn’t Donington, Brands Hatch and Silverstone might be the British ridden on the road again and hadn’t been on a roadgoing circuits that are seen on international TV screens, but Cadwell is sportsbike at all until joining the Suzuki BSB effort. Even the one that really speaks for our nation. The one with crests, someone with his experience of speed is astonished by how fast a twists, wiggles, the countryside location. The one with a corner road bike will travel, and that’s telling. named after a common farm building rather than some racing ‘I thought the road bike would be a lot worse than a race bike,’ superhero. And the one with ‘the jump’. We call it the Mountain, he says. ‘I didn’t think I’d enjoy it, but they are really good. On but since Guintoli’s friends back home in France found out he’d the launch of the K9 at Almeria, I rode the bike and saw 179mph be riding in Britain they wanted to know the name of ‘the track on the back straight. I couldn’t believe it from a road bike.’ with the jump’. It’s the place they’ll be travelling over to see him The first experience of Cadwell seems to have shocked our race around, knowing it is the essence of British motorcycling. man, whose last laps of a British circuit were at Thruxton. ‘That Road tester and local expert Pete Boast is here. Cadwell is like was like an airfield, but this is like riding an enduro. It feels like his own backyard. He first rode the place in 1980 and knows there’s one way of getting through, otherwise you’ll hit the trees.’ every trick in the Cadwell book. Guintoli has to ask where the Boastie’s advice on how to cope with the Mountain is stashed toilets are, Boastie knows the name of the bloke who cleans them. away and Guintoli starts to impress when he goes out again. This Guintoli is as affable as Bike can imagine any Lambo owner session ends with a chequered flag rather than a red and there’s could ever be, let alone one with such a racing track record. This more of a smile on the face this time. ‘I have to learn how to do bloke led a MotoGP race in 2007 for christ’s sake, before the rain

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finding the right line through Cadwell’s Coppice. eight days later this man won his first-ever BSB race Guintoli earnt his orange superhero cape by dipping under 1min 40sec

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best of britain


London by Wing A day in the life of the biggest city, from the seat of the biggest bike

Words Tony Hoare PHoTograPHy CHiPPy Wood

‘We have got all day, you know.’ In this city, on days like this, very few find themselves uttering those words, especially if they’re on two wheels. A place to be, a time to be there. Diving for improbable gaps, the endless quest to be at the front of the queue, the focus of the following pack’s collective tunnel vision. Then prepare to leap to the next queue, the next set of lights. An eye in the sky would show the movements this morning as colonies of ants building their world. But not for us. Photographer Chippy and I really do have all day. Nowhere to be, and no deadline for getting there. This is a day for aimless exploration, meandering around the biggest city in Britain the best way possible, by bike. When it comes to London, bikes rule. We keep flowing when everything else is blocked, every nerve touched by the life that’s inevitable when eight million people cram themselves into such a small area. On the face of it, though, a Honda GoldWing shouldn’t rule London’s streets. There are those, as fully paid-up members of the ‘might as well get a car’ brigade, who’d say it doesn’t even deserve the term ‘bike’. Wide, long, ridiculously heavy. As nimble as a Bulgarian shotputter with a Big Mac addiction. Yup, and that’s exactly why I chose it. I know from experience that a Wing will filter more smoothly than you’d think, but it does have its limits. Today’s queues might find me coursing through them. Or they might not. When the rest of biking London is searching for clear road, I can sit back and let them get on with it. I have the city’s countless radio stations at my fingertips, the most comfortable riding position in motorcycling and every excuse I need to sit in line if I feel like it. Super-size me. This Monday morning begins on the edge of the city at the Ace Café (see p16 for an interview with the owner Mark Wilsmore), where we’d expected a breakfast bustle of couriers and motorcyclists stocking up on stodge. Instead the place is just waking up as the sun emerges through the haze. We’re the first to prompt the sizzle of sausage on griddle, shielding eyes from the low sun to look at the classic Brit bikes parked near the entrance, and a promo scooter for an insurance firm. Staff bikes perhaps, or props. The only other bikes around are the ones howling along the North Circular beneath us, weaving through their daily slalom to work. The machines are gradually getting smaller the closer we get to the congestion zone which surrounds the congestion charge zone. On the way south this morning, the Deauville was the most common sight. Now there’s a ready supply of Fazer 600s and big scoots. In a couple of hours we’ll be surrounded by tiny Vespas, thin enough to slip through the slenderest of gaps. The Ace, an icon in the world of motorcycling, means little to these people

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Haircut required more urgently than the full english we think

West London’s skyroads. Thank god our tectonic plates sleep so soundly

damn these free papers. People should pay for their quality print publications

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Potholes litter Hyde Park Corner, the most confusing corner in London

Too busy reading other people’s lights to see his own are changing. Sensory overload

Cinemas on roundabouts. Crazy talk. Only in London

Look kids, Big Ben, Houses of Parliament. Never a dull moment in the big city

Aston owner claimed he’d prefer a Wing. Honest

How can you be lost when you don’t know where you are?

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‘I couldn’t build a custom bike that could compete with Arlen Ness and his 300 staff, so I had to do something different. Be brave. Take an English bike to America’ 86 Bike


BEsT of BriTain

Legends The world’s greatest bikes, every month

Eight years since they raced and 20 years since their heyday, Bike unearths the last new works 500 race bike in the world’s best bike shop – Padgetts of Batley, Yorkshire Words Steve Rose Photography Chippy Wood

Legends 10: the Last works YZr500 Brutal, beautiful and most of all, very, very fast. This 130kg masterpiece in metal turns fossil fuels into forwards and sideways motion more effectively than almost any machine before or since. 165bhp from 498cc. That’s 330bhp/litre. Eighteen years later, V4s are back in fashion, Pedrosa’s RCV makes around 310bhp/litre. Progress? I know which I’d rather have in the shed. ‘I’ve got another one at home, but that’s in bits.’ Clive Padgett seems matter-of-fact about his Yamaha YZRs, but the more he talks the more you realise this is a machine that’s very close to his heart. ‘We [Padgetts] were racing a couple of Harris-built YZR500s in GPs and we fancied moving up to a works bike. This would have been in the mid-1990s, but Yamaha said, “No.” They didn’t sell works bikes – not even to us, the oldest Yamaha dealer in Britain – you could only lease them.’ What happened next epitomises the tenacity and ingenuity that’s made Padgetts so successful for so long in British racing. Clive continues, ‘So my dad [Peter, founder of Padgetts] realising that the then-current bikes weren’t that different from older YZRs, asked Yamaha if we could buy an old one. And, because of our special relationship with the factory, they agreed. ‘When the bike arrived, it had a black frame and the faded outlines of Marlboro stickers on the tank. Turns out it was one of Rainey’s 1991 machines. We raced it and crashed it all over Europe and Japan that summer. By the end of the season, it was a bit the worse for wear, so we asked if they had any more we could buy. ‘And then this arrived. Brand new, same year as the Rainey bike [which Clive is currently rebuilding at home], never turned a wheel. And my dad looked at it and said, “We can’t race that. We just can’t.” So we didn’t and it’s sat here ever since. ‘When you run a race team you can’t afford to get sentimental about the bikes. All I want is the best bike to win this year. But... But [it’s only a slight pause, but it says more than words ever can] this is different. Probably the best bike ever in my opinion.’ 136 Bike

Back in 1991, the YZR was certainly the best 500 race bike. Never as fast as the Honda or as nimble as the Suzuki, the Yamaha was the all-rounder and that made it quicker and easier to set up on more circuits. Nine years on from Yamaha’s first V4, the disc valve OW61 (complete with underslung rear shock like on your mate’s RD500), the YZR (designation changed from OW to YZR in 1989) was the best developed bike on the grid. Reed valves and a world title arrived in 1984 along with the Deltabox frame and conventional rear shock. Contra-rotating cranks came in 1985 and Lawson won the title again in 1986 and ’88 before handing the keys to Wayne Rainey, who should have won it in ’89 but had to wait a year for the first of his three-in-a-row championships. 1991 was a special year though. Mat Oxley takes up the story. ‘1991 was the year that Suzuki and Yamaha went to Dunlop. Rainey and Schwantz thought the whole thing was a joke because they were getting so sideways all the time. They wanted to be on Michelins but found they were going faster than ever before, even though the FIM had raised the minimum weight limit from 115kg to 130. Many 1991 lap records stayed intact for several years, because their ultimate laptimes were so quick, even if the race times were slower because the Dunlops would go away by the end of races. ‘Guys like Rainey adored the 500s. Him, Schwantz, Doohan and the rest, came from Superbikes and they so appreciated the purity of purpose of the 500s: real power, stiff chassis and so on. They hated going to Suzuka for the Eight Hours, they thought the factory four-strokes were boring, lumpy pieces of shit. I think they also liked the 500s because the bike set these guys apart from everyone else. ‘Riding them was a mix of subtle finesse and sheer violence. And without any proper traction control [Team Roberts were using basic systems in the mid-1990s] they had to use what they had to calm wheelspin: Doohan used to whip in the clutch if the revs rose too quickly [much more effective than shutting the throttle], and they’d damp down the power with the rear brake coming out of pretty much every corner.

‘We asked if they had any more we could buy. And then this arrived. Brand new, never turned a wheel. And my dad looked at it and said, “We can’t race that. We just can’t.” So we didn’t and it’s sat here ever since’

#35 faCtories best of britain

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Great Britain is a perfectly appropriate title when considering our bike industry during most of the 20th century. This list shows less than a fifth of the 685 marques that came, and largely went, over the past 100 years or so. The West Midlands’ industrial heartland spawned many firms, but credit is due to the smaller ones who, through passion and tenacity, made pretty good machines too. We salute you WORDS MICK PHILLIPS ILLuStRatIOn CaMeROn LaW 1: abC skootamota 1919-1922 Isle of Wight 2: abingdon (inc aKD) 1903 - 1932 Abingdon, Berks 3: advance 1905-07 Northampton 4: aeolus 1903-05 London 5: aeolus 1914-16 Birmingham 6: ajax 1922-25 Birmingham 7: aJs 1911-1968 Wolverhampton (till 1931), then Plumstead, London (7a) Like any firm that lasted so long, there were highs and lows. Racing gave them cachet and having a race bike called the Porcupine has to be top of anyone’s list. 8: aJW 1928-77 Bournemouth (Exeter till 1940s) Got bogged down in vulpine nomenclature: Grey Fox, Silver Fox, Vixen, Flying Vixen, Flying Fox, Speed Fox... you get the picture. 9: akkens 1919-22 Birmingham 10: alecto 1919-24 London 11: alert 1903-06 Coventry Not so alert they didn’t go bust after three years. 12: alldays & onions 1903-27 Birmingham Yes, Onions, and they knew them. Going back to 1650 and was merged with Alldays (1720) in 1889. Also built bikes as Alldays-Matchless

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(not that Matchless) and Allon. 13: alp 1913-16 Alperton, West London 14: ambassador 1946-64 Ascot, Berks 15: anglian 1903-12 Beccles, Suffolk 16:ariel 1902-1970 Birmingham Once noble Brummie firm that brought us the 1000cc Square Four and groundbreaking all-enclosed Leader. The proud name was finally muddied by its use on the Ariel 3 tricycle, which was a humiliating amalgamation of bought-in tat with all the grace of a shopping trolley, but with none of its advantages. 17: armis 1920-23 Birmingham 18: armstrong 1981-87 Bolton, Lancs Armstrong buys a majority share in Alan Clews’ CCM (see No49) and starts building military bikes, like the Rotax-engined MT500. In 1983 the firm produced Can-Am Bombardier machines but in 1987 Armstrong sold the military side to H-D and CCM back to Alan Clews. 19: arno 1906-15 Coventry 20: arrow 1913-17 Birmingham 21: ascot 1904-06 London 22: ashford 1904 Ashford, Middx 23: atlas 1913-14 Coventry

24: atlas 1921-25 Birmingham 25: aurora 1901-07 Coventry 26: aurora 1919-21 Isle of Man 27: banshee 1921-24 Bromsgrove, Worcs Worth it, surely, just to say that you rode to work on a Banshee. 28: bat 1902-26 South London 29: baughan 1930-36 Stroud, Glos 30: beaufort 1923-26 Twickenham 31: beau ideal 1904-07 Wolverhampton 32: beaumont 1921-22 Leeds 33: beeston 1898-1905 Beeston, Notts (later Coventry) 34: binks 1903-06 Nottingham 35: blackburne 1913-22 Farnham, Surrey 36: booth 1901-03 Putney, London 37: bradbury 1901-25 Oldham, Lancs 38: britishstandard 1919-23 Birmingham 39: brough 1908-25 Nottingham One can only imagine the scene at the breakfast table when George Brough told his dad he would be leaving the family firm to set up a rival bike company called Brough Superior. Another cup of bitter humiliation, father? 40: brough superior

1920-40 Nottingham Yes, we all know about the SS100 and Lawrence of Arabia, but less is known about the Golden Dream, a shaft-driven opposed four from 1938, so a bit like a Gold Wing but with the cylinders stacked one on top of the other. 41: bsa 1910-73 Small Heath, Birmingham Hard to imagine the might of this firm at its height in the 1930-50s. It hoovered up other marques like fluff, including Sunbeam, New Hudson, Ariel and eventually, in 1951, Triumph. 42: bulldog 1920 Birmingham 43: Calcott 1910-15 Coventry 44: Calthorpe 1909-39 Birmingham 45: Calvert 1900-04 Stoke Newington, London 46: Campion 1901-25 Nottingham 47: Carfield 1919-27 Birmingham 48: Cayenne 1912-13 Sussex 49: CCM 1971Bolton, Lancs Clews Competition machines was founded by Alan Clews and is still going today. Fortune initially based on motocrossers built around BSA B50 singles bought up after the Brum firm’s demise. 50: Cedos 1919-29 Northampton 51: Chater-Lea

1900-36 London Built the first 350 to crack a ton, an OHV model breaking the record in 1924. 52: Cleveland 1911-14 Middlesbrough 53: Clyde 1899-1926 Leicester 54: Clyno 1909-23 Thrapston, Northants 55: Comery 1919-22 Nottingham 56: Comet 1902-07 London 57: Connaught 1910-27 Birmingham 58: Consul 1916-23 Norwich 59: Corah 1905-11 Birmingham 60: CoronaJunior 1919-23 London 61: Cotton 1919-80 Gloucester Best remembered for off-road competition machines powered by Villiers two-stroke engines, but had once offered a wide range and used Blackburne and JAP motors. 62: Coventryeagle 1901-39 Coventry 63: CoventryVictor 1919-35 Coventry 64: Cyc-auto 1934-55 London 65: Dene 1903-1923 Newcastle-uponTyne 66: Diamond 1908-31 Wolverhampton 67: DMW 1945-71 Wolverhampton Hit a rich vein of bike

naming in the 50s which pre-empted Ford and Triumph by using Cortina and Dolomite. However, by the decade’s end it had all gone horribly Disney, with the Bambi and Dumbo. 68: Dot 1902-32, 1949-73 Salford, Lancs Devoid Of Trouble. Yes, that was their catchphrase. 69: Douglas 1907-57 Bristol Won the first ever Sidecar TT, in 1923, coupled to a radical banking sidecar invented by the rider, ‘Flying Freddie’ Dixon. Sidewinder on a 350LC, anyone? 70: Dunelt 1919-35 Sheffield 71: elswick 1903-21 Barton-on-Humber 72: excelsior 1896-1964 Coventry (later Birmingham) Can lay claim to being Britain’s oldest motorcycle manufacturer, offering a machine ‘powered’ by a 1.25bhp Minerva engine in 1896. 73: francisbarnett 1919-1966 Coventry Countless thousands of Brits cut their teeth or got to work on a Fanny-B. That doesn’t make them any less boring. 74: Greeves 1953-77 Thundersley, Essex 74a: new Greeves 1999-present Chelmsford, Essex Revived by Richard Deal and

feature name concentrating on trials machinery, a field in which the marque was once famous. 75: Gindlay -Peerless 1923-34 Coventry Closely associated with sporting success at Brooklands during the 1920s, mainly powered by JAP engines. In 1928, works rider Bill Lacey covered 103.3 miles in an hour to set a new 500cc world record, upping that to 105.25 miles 12 months later.

76: Hazlewood 1905-25 Coventry 77: Hesketh 1981-on Easton-Neston, Towcester, Northants Yes, effectively still alive thanks to the dedication of former Hesketh engineer, Mick Broom. Since final liquidation in 1984, Broom Engineering has been building new bikes and offering service and support to existing stalwarts. 78: Hobart 1901-24 Coventry 79: HRD 1924-28 Howard Raymond Davies, a former test rider for Sunbeam, was frustrated at the unreliability of his TT mounts, so built his own bike,

winning the 1925 Senior. 80: Humber 1898-1930 Beeston, Notts 81: Invicta 1913-23 Coventry 82: Ivy 1908-32 Birmingham 83: Ixion 1910-23 Birmingham 84: James 1902-66 Birmingham 85: JAP 1903-78 London John Alfred Prestwich became most famous for his engines used by others (also in cars, planes and more), perhaps most prestigiously Brough Superior, but the firm did produce complete bikes for a short time (1904-08). Hugely successful in speedway from 1930-50s. 86: JES 1913-24 Gloucester

Bike 129 101


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because we can still get away with it

Britain is not a police state. A smart rider with his wits about him can still make his own decision on speed and risk taking. Steve Rose heads to Wales on a new Yamaha VMAX – the world’s most conspicuous motorcycle – to prove a point PHOTOGRAPHY AdAm duckwORTH

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